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Bacon Bits

Monday, April 4th, 2005

Steve, Eat it! Eat it!

I’ve been hooked on The Sneeze ever since reading Steve’s review of Beggin’ Strips. I’ve been waiting so patiently for another volume of Steve, Don’t Eat it! which is why I should be excited that Volume 7 just came out. Actually, I was excited for the first two seconds before I realized he was eating Huitlacoche. See, I’m planning a tamale party for next weekend and Tamales de Huitlacoche are on the menu.

I debated. Should I read it? If I read it will I have to change the menu? Will Huitlacoche really be that bad? Finally I just had to. Halfway through the post, right about where he shows the side-by-side comparison of the kernels, I lost it. I’m currently looking for a new tamale recipe.

I’m throwing down the gauntlet, Steve. Will you eat balut?

Monday, February 21st, 2005

Iron Chef America: Rob Feenie vs. Masaharu Morimoto

Excuse me if this post is not accurate or complete. I was too enthralled to take notes.

After our hot-pot dinner, I made everyone watch Iron Chef America. There was some grumbling because Family Guy was on at the same time, but I didn’t really care because I was dying to see Rob Feenie beat Masaharu Morimoto. Not that I have anything against Morimoto, it’s just that I love Rob Feenie.

The last Iron Chef America I watched was hosted by the always lovely William Shatner. Whoever made that casting train wreck of a decision should be blackballed from Hollywood. After about two minutes of watching, I knew that the new version would be much, much better. They retained some of the campiness that made me love the original, but didn’t over-do it and they actually had commentators that knew something about food. What a brilliant concept.

I squealed when they revealed the secret ingredient: crab. There were all kinds of crab, but I think the main ones were Dungeness Crab, Blue Crab, Peekytoe Crab, and some sort of unfortunate small Japanese crab that Morimoto tossed into the deep-fat-fryer while still alive. It was exciting and stressful watching the chefs pull their pinching crabs from the pile and chop them up (again, while still alive) with parts flying everywhere. After an hour, this is what they had made:

Rob Feenie
Two kinds of crab maki – This looked incredibly good and I’d like to try making it at home. The crab was mixed with something creamy (mayo?) and then spread onto the seaweed, then the outside of the rolls had a very thin layer of salmon lox and raw tuna.

Sablefish with crab in tom yum broth – While this looked delicious, I don’t know if I’d like it all that much. I think I OD’d on sablefish the last time I was in Canada.

Crab ravioli with truffle beurre blanc – This looked amazing and when he added the truffles to the beurre blanc I wanted to cry.

Veal loin with hollandaise and crab – A beautiful roast of veal on a bed of mushrooms, with a creamy crab sauce. How could this not be good?

Peekytoe crab panna cotta with pineapple jelly – This was the one thing that didn’t quite turn out right. Something about the freezers not working. It sounds so weird, but I’d love to try it.

Masaharu Morimoto
Okay, so to be completely honest… I wasn’t really paying much attention to what Morimoto was making, so the descriptions are kinda vague.

Crab consommé – I think this was served in some sort of melon bowl with the little fried crabs as garnish.

Buttermilk crab croquette – Uh? No clue. Something deep-fried.

Crab on a paddle with crab fondue – I liked the crab on a paddle idea until he started blackening it on an open flame. It just seemed weird. The judges thought the cheese fondue overpowered the crab.

Black pepper Dungeness crab – Okay, this looked really good.

Crab rice with baked miso paste – This seemed boring.

Before the final score was revealed I asked everyone who they thought would win. I was the only one who thought Rob Feenie would win—and he won with 45 points to Morimoto’s 39! The weird thing is that Feenie won most of his points in the Creativity category, but it seemed like Morimoto was more creative. Just less successfully creative. Good thing I’m not a food critic.

So despite all the grumbling before the show, everyone was into it by the end and said it was way more exciting than they thought it would be. I was tense during the whole show and started screaming when Feenie won. Is this what it’s like for football fans? I may have just found my new sport…

Monday, January 24th, 2005

A Kitchen Table

My new kitchen table has arrived and I am happy as can be! My mom and dad bought it for me for Christmas and it’s the perfect gift.

I had been making do with a folding card table for the past three years. It only seated four and had a bad leg that would collapse if you touched it—which made for tense dinner parties on my end. I was always yelling “NO! I’ll sit there!” and startling my dinner guests.

My new table seats six very comfortably and has a leaf extension that allows seating for eight or maybe even ten if my kitchen was big enough to hold that many people. I may have to wait until I move to use the extension.

I am so so happy with my new kitchen table and am already setting dates for dinner parties that I have been waiting to have. Every time I walk into my kitchen, I smile.

Thank you mom and dad… you are too good to me! And yes, this means you have drop-in dining privileges at any time.

Monday, January 17th, 2005

The Saveur 100

I just received the latest Saveur, which was a special issue with their top 100 favorite “foods, restaurants, recipes, people, places & things”. This is what caught my eye:

#1 Apparently, cooking in the fireplace is the new hot thing—although, this is most certainly not going to happen in my apartment

#4 Pepperidge Farm Bread—I’ve always seen this bread recommended in recipes, but I’ve never seen it in the store…

#9 Best substitute for Pizza? Okonomiyaki! I am lucky that Zach cooks really delicious ones.

#12 Certified Humane Raised and Handled Products

#21 Furikake! This is on my top 100 list as well, but I would have rated it higher.

#25 Most irresistible aroma: frying bacon. Again, on my list, but more like #2, right after eating bacon.

#49 Old South Tomolives—the latest martini garnish

#55 Senapata—a delicious sounding quince paste with a touch of mustard

#72 For those of you lucky people with fireplaces, check out spitjack

#74 Del Norte raw flour tortillas

#96 Best sliced bread since sliced bread: Shokupan


Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

Morton Thompson’s Turkey

Today I had lunch over at Ballet and had some delicious Pho (I decided that it’s better than Than Brothers). I was reading my book and came across a brief description of Morton Thompson’s Turkey. It sounded strange and amazing; coated with a crust that turns black, but seals in the moisture and basically steam roasts the Turkey. It looks really labor intensive, but I think I want to try it out sometime this year.

Wednesday, December 8th, 2004

Shop Blue

After reading Consumer Whore’s article on the ShitBegone™ economic embargo against red states, my friend did some research on where to shop blue and sent me this handy link:

So in summary, these companies are GOOD:
American Rice
Ben & Jerry’s
Campbell Soup
King Arthur Flour
Trader Joe’s
Whole Foods

And these companies should be avoided:
California Pizza Kitchen
Domino’s brands
General Mills Inc. (yes, this includes Pillsbury, Cheerios, Yoplait, Betty Crocker and Haagen-Dazs)
Goya Foods, Inc
H. J. Heinz Company (what?!)
Hershey Foods
Krispy Kreme
Kroger / QFC
McIlhenny Company (put down that Tabasco!)
Nestle Purina (no more Friskies for Dylan… poor kitty)
Olive Garden
Outback Steakhouse
Papa John’s
TGI Friday’s
White Castle
YUM brands (which includes KFC, Pizza Hut & Taco Bell—more like YUK)

You can also go to the site and get a blue-friendly grocery list for stores in your state. Speak with your dollars!